Monday, January 19, 2009

Another fine mess for SAG

I have been silent for the last month eagerly anticipating something positive to comment on regarding the internal (and public) bickering with the seemingly endless Screen Actors Guild to-authorize-a-strike or not-to-authorize-a-strike serial melodrama.

Is it just me, or have you had enough of this already?

I know it’s important; I know it’s about what actors deserve. But, I also know that now months into this struggle, it appears that the industry is no closer to a new SAG contract than it was when the issue for the union was focused on their members voting down the new AFTRA contract (which, as we know now, was also unsuccessful).

While it appears unlikely that the SAG leadership will get 75% of their actor members to vote “yes” on a strike authorization (should they still decide to seek it), the bigger picture, which is really the smaller picture, might matter most. That is, aside from seeking a strike authorization, SAG also needs to think about seeking unity from among its membership – and how to get everyone effected back on the same page.

It doesn’t much matter who’s in, who’s out or who’s on first as much as it will matter if the union is ever able regain the respect of all of their actor members they’re supposed to be representing fairly and equally.

Is it just me or is it time for some movement in a positive direction beginning with a fresh look at what makes sense for the people effected and the impact of this long stalemate on the perceived and real health of the business of acting?

The only good news of late is that SAG and AFTRA are actually casually dating again, sitting down together in search of a new commercial contract. Bravo to the SAG powers-that-be that realized the sense of both building this bridge and crossing it. It makes me wonder whether these same people at SAG now wish they did this a lot sooner.

Another fine mess, indeed.


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